Shailee Mavani highlights, “You need to do what you want to do to make yourself happy and not what satisfies others.”
Feeling disenchanted with her life as a Corporate Banker, Shailee Mavani braved the odds to make her world anew. She wanted her work to fulfil her and be a reason for her happiness. Thus, began her journey as an Image Consultant and Wedding Planner, an industry in which she was a stranger.
Often, Shailee felt like there’s “no light at the end of the tunnel” as she was left with no work for her initial 3 months. Nevertheless, she held on and today she is not only successful in realising her vision but has also impacted all her clients to feel confident and find their true identity. Read more about what it takes to make a career shift, some tips about self-image and much more in this chat with Storiyaan.
Shailee Mavani: A Journey To The Unknown
Questions and answers
What was the driving factor that led you to make a shift from your profession as an investment and corporate banker into that of Image Management and People Coaching?
After seven years of working, I realised that although I liked my job it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I felt like I was not making any difference to myself and had an intuition to be my boss. Therefore, I set out to explore my options and stumbled upon image skill management and soft skill training and thus began my journey.
After the training programme, are there any further study opportunities for an image consultant or is it more dependent on experience/ practical training?
It’s a combination of the two because you never stop learning. Once you have become an image consultant you can take more courses depending on your niche. Likewise, you grow as an image consultant with practical experience as every client is different.
Can you explain the difference between a personal shopper, a stylist, and an image consultant?
A personal shopper and a stylist are people who are solely responsible for your dressing and styling. They understand your likes and dislikes and accordingly choose clothes for you. On the other hand, an image consultant assists you with your communication and confidence-building along with the above roles.
What were some of the major hurdles that came your way when you made this shift in your profession and what kept you motivated and helped you overcome these hurdles?
The major hurdles for me were mental hurdles like of unsure about my new work and harbouring doubts. It isn’t easy to shift from a life of steady income to a completely unrelated turf.
To overcome such fears, I kept on working and conducting workshops. Slowly, I saw the results when people started contacting me through word of mouth.
What were some of the platforms that you took to promote your work and build your credibility?
I use Instagram and Facebook to promote my work. Through my social media handles, I aim to create a safe space and community where people feel free to talk about their problems. Through my posts, I encourage them to work on themselves and keep getting better which helps me to build my credibility.
What are some of the most essential skills that one must possess to make it big in the industry and what are some of the common errors that newcomers make?
People skills are the most essential whether it is empathy or other emotions. This field demands personalisation and you must empathize and communicate with people assertively and clearly.
I think a common error that newcomers make is that they try to sell themselves too hard. This field is not a push field but a pull field, where the client should come to you. If you are vocal about your skills and how you can help clients, people will choose you.
Having launched “Eight Events” during the pandemic, what were the major obstacles in the functioning of it due to Covid-19 restrictions?
The major obstacle of a wedding planner business was to get clients as people were either postponing their weddings or opting for a small gathering. Secondly, due to the uncertainty and risk of cancellations, it was extremely difficult to negotiate with vendors during the Covid-19 restrictions.
What are the business mantras you have embraced as you sought to establish your success story?
Although not a business mantra, I had given myself a budget in terms of promotion or networking and was firm to not increase it until I got a certain income, as it is easy to go overboard in terms of spending money without a return. This has worked in my favour and I think it has helped me not get complacent with my investments.
We would love to know your advice for all those starting as aspiring women entrepreneurs and what are the major perks of owning one’s own business
My only advice to everyone will be to ‘Just take the plunge, which is what I advised myself. Don’t overthink your decisions.
If you ask me, the major perk of working for yourself is that you work on your terms but more importantly you will have a sense of satisfaction. Additionally, you also generate income for others when you hire employees which is deeply fulfilling.
Body image and body shaming are two major topics of conversation these days. As an image consultant, what’s your take on them?
Body image is what you think about yourself and how you perceive yourself when you look in the mirror. Body shaming comes from the prolonged culture of “beauty standards”. As an image consultant, I try to educate clients about realistic beauty standards and assist them to get a positive outlook on their bodies.
1. One style tip for an entrepreneur – Dress for your role
2. One piece of advice for a bride to be – Buy your jewellery before you buy your clothes
3. Your biggest achievement – Got certified as a scuba diver although I was scared of being underwater
4. One style guide you abide by – My intuition and knowledge
5. One downside of entrepreneurship – Uncertainty